VCU First Novelist Award Finalist
Longlist for DSC South Asian Literature Prize
"Perceptive, subtle, and provocative...a moving and memorable story." — Publisher's Weekly "A remarkable first novel." — LA Review of Books "A captivating story you won’t be able to put down." — Ms. Magazine "A must-read." — Lambda Literary Review
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Lucky and her husband, Krishna, are gay. They present an illusion of marital bliss to their conservative Sri Lankan–American families, while each dates on the side. It’s not ideal, but for Lucky, it seems to be working. She goes out dancing, she drinks a bit, she makes ends meet by doing digital art on commission. But when Lucky’s grandmother has a nasty fall, Lucky returns to her childhood home and unexpectedly reconnects with her former best friend and first lover, Nisha, who is preparing for her own arranged wedding with a man she’s never met.
As the connection between the two women is rekindled, Lucky tries to save Nisha from entering a marriage based on a lie. But does Nisha really want to be saved? And after a decade’s worth of lying, can Lucky break free of her own circumstances and build a new life? Is she willing to walk away from all that she values about her parents and community to live in a new truth? As Lucky—an outsider no matter what choices she makes—is pushed to the breaking point, Marriage of a Thousand Lies offers a vivid exploration of a life lived at a complex intersection of race, sexuality, and nationality. The result is a profoundly American debut novel shot through with humor and loss, a story of love, family, and the truths that define us all.
Longlisted for DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Winner of the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction
VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Finalist
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured on Book Riot's Must-Read Books About Complicated Marriages
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured on Mental Floss 25 Amazing Books by Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors You Need to Read
Marriage of a Thousand Lies is May 2019 Mocha Girls Read Book Club Pick
Marriage of a Thousand Lies included in Roxane Gay's Favorite Recent Reads for Amazon
Interview with Gaysi about Marriage of a Thousand Lies
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in LitHub's 5 Great Books You May Have Missed in June
Interview about Marriage of a Thousand Lies in Dig Boston
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Poets & Writers Notable Fiction Debuts:
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Book Riot's Best Books of June
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Asian American Writer's Workshop
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in NOW Magazine's 6 Queer Books to Read This Summer
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Lambda Literary's In June Spotlight
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Hollywood News Source's Monthly Anticipated Reads for June
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Bustle's Best Fiction Books of June
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Publisher's Weekly Select Books with LGBTQ Themes for 2017
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in BookTrib's Indulge in Books
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured alongside Anthony Horowitz and Sherman Alexie as Literati Bookstore's 3 Hardcover Picks for June
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in Bustle's 29 New Fiction Books To Read This Summer
Interview with The Normal School about Marriage of a Thousand Lies
Marriage of a Thousand Lies featured in 6 Books By South Asian Authors That Break Barriers and Question Norms
Guest on Minorities in Publishing Podcast
Guest on LitHub's Fiction/Non/Fiction Podcast
GET LIT radio show with Jamie Tennant
Chuski Pop Podcast Episode 37 on SoundCloud
Interview with The Offing about the chapbook and Marriage of a Thousand Lies
Essay in Memorious - "Think Music: Musical Inspirations for Marriage of a Thousand Lies"
Essay in LitHub - "Balancing Bollywood Inspiration with American Expectations"
Read an excerpt
October 13 @ 7 p.m. - Indigo Bridge Books, Lincoln NE
October 14 @ 1 p.m. - The Bookworm, Omaha NE
February 23 - Elliot Bay Bookstore, Seattle WA
February 24 - Search for Meaning Conference, Seattle WA
"A remarkable novel rich with interlocking issues both timeless and timely. SJ Sindu’s debut is more than impressive; it’s important."
—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
“I love Lucky, the unforgettable narrator of Marriage of a Thousand Lies. She has taken a place among my favorite misfits in literature, a young woman longing for love and tradition and celebration and family even as she defies expectations and navigates her own paths. I’m especially captivated by the novel’s honesty and tenderness—SJ Sindu is an intuitive writer with great insights into the complications of love and friendship.”
—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola
"SJ Sindu has written an important novel about Sri Lankan immigrant culture. Here, the intersections of migration, sexuality and culture are explored in loving and heartbreaking detail. A book that reveals the secrets of a community caught between East and West."
—Nayomi Munaweera, author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors
—The Toronto Star
"Enthralling . . . Sindu is a skilled writer, and this is a remarkable first novel."
—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Perceptive, subtle, and provocative…. Sindu’s characters, including Lucky’s divorced parents, are all believably complicated and compassionately observed…in a moving and memorable story.”
"Marriage of a Thousand Lies is a rare book, written from a queer, South Asian perspective, but a welcome addition to an all-too-small canon."
"[Sindu] has written a debut novel that is honest and moving—a complex story about a Sri-Lankan family and a strong female protagonist who struggles with her own identity against a backdrop of deep traditions and community."
"Sindu’s heart-wrenching debut novel . . . incorporates love, loss, family, rebirth and growth to tell a captivating story you won’t be able to put down."
"Marriage of a Thousand Lies is a fascinating work."
"Sindu takes on the conflict between love of family and of oneself with clarity and laughs."
"So good . . . heartbreaking in the way it portrayed the characters torn between happiness and custom. SJ Sindu does a beautiful job describing how Lucky feels about living a secret life and her fear of disappointing her parents, and the language and imagery is gorgeous."
"SJ Sindu’s fine debut [is] a timely tale with themes of immigration, free will, identity, and personal choice."
"An important intervention in the canons of both LGBTQ and South Asian literature. Marriage of a Thousand Lies is not only important: it’s also a beautiful book, with fresh, tidy prose, and complex, flawed characters, a novel that is at once sad and hopeful."
"Marriage of a Thousand Lies is a deeply affecting work in many ways."
"A well-written debut . . . brings to light the layers of struggles that shape our decisions on how we choose to live our lives. "
"A poignant, heart-warming love story."
—Youth Ki Awaaz
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